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Diamonds News

Covid kills 13 mineworkers, no foreigners back at work  

By: Martin Creamer     2nd July 2020 Thirteen mineworkers have now succumbed to the coronavirus, Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello Chabana said on Thursday. Of the 13 who have died, seven were employed in platinum mining in North West province, which has the most cases at 1 413... 

Ekapa changes name, donates face masks

By: Donna Slater     2nd July 2020 Following the ceasing of the joint venture (JV) between diamond miners Kimberley Ekapa Mining (KEM) and Petra Diamonds, KEM has changed its name to only Ekapa. At the end of 2018, Petra Diamonds announced its completion of the sale of its and its black economic empowerment partner’s 75.9%... 

Ekapa changes name, donates face masks
Ekapa's Jahn Hohne and Peter Hohne stand in front of the newly renamed mine sign

PGMs, battery metals market potential, De Beers' R10m Covid-19 lab make headlines  

2nd July 2020 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer unpacks platinum group metals being in a great position to benefit from the fast-growing global decarbonisation momentum, SA and the global battery metals market; and De Beer’s R10-million coronavirus testing lab.   

PGMs, battery metals market potential, De Beers' R10m Covid-19 lab make headlines
PGMs, battery metals market potential, De Beers' R10m Covid-19 lab make headlines

Finland-focused Karelian Diamonds says Rio Tinto agreement lapses

By: Creamer Media Reporter      1st July 2020 Aim-listed Karelian Diamonds said on Wednesday that a confidentiality agreement that it entered into with Rio Tinto Mining and Exploration in 2010, had lapsed. Under the agreement, Rio Tinto has been disclosing to Karelian confidential information relating to exploration in Finland for the... 

R10m Covid testing lab unveiled at De Beers' Venetia diamond mine

By: Martin Creamer     1st July 2020 De Beers Venetia Mine has unveiled a R10-million coronavirus testing laboratory that will be used to check the diamond mines’ employees and contractors for Covid-19. Discussion with the Department of Health is also under way on assisting with the government’s screening efforts in the mine’s... 

R10m Covid testing lab unveiled at De Beers' Venetia diamond mine
Limpopo MEC of Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba (left) and De Beers Group Managed Operations MD Mpumi Zikalala (right).

Petra Diamonds, or some assets, are up for sale

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th June 2020 Following a strategic review into its capital structure options, London-listed Petra Diamonds has decided to seek offers for the company or for parts of the business’ assets. Petra started a strategic review of its capital structure options on March 27 to explore options available to settle an... 

Petra Diamonds, or some assets, are up for sale
Petra Diamonds' Cullinan mine, in South Africa

Miner Petra Diamonds puts up 'for sale' board

By: Reuters     26th June 2020 Petra Diamonds has put itself or parts of its business up for sale, the Africa-focused miner said on Friday, as part of a review the company began in March after being hammered by lacklustre demand and prices for the precious gem. The company has been in talks with its creditors to shore-up... 

Small-scale Alexander Bay diamond miners defend recent lambasting

By: Donna Slater     26th June 2020 The Equitable Access Campaign (EAC), which includes local marine diamond miners operating off the coast of Alexander Bay, tells Mining Weekly it strongly disagrees that State-owned land and marine diamond mining company Alexkor’s concessions potentially being be sold off. It argues that... 

Stornoway CEO resigns in rationalisation exercise

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th June 2020 Canada’s Stornoway Diamonds on Thursday announced a management shakeup as part of a rationalisation exercise, which began last year with the privitisation of the company. Patrick Godin had resigned as CEO and Annie Torkia Lagacé also stepped down as executive VP, finance and corporate services.... 

Lesotho opens more border posts for return of foreign mineworkers 

By: Martin Creamer     25th June 2020 Lesotho has opened up more border posts to speed up  the return to work of locked-down foreign mineworkers. As reported  by Mining Weekly last week, 12 000 mineworkers had one border post at their disposal on re-entering South Africa from Lesotho and the opening of more border posts was requested. 

Lesotho opens more border posts for return of foreign mineworkers
Minerals Council South Africa environment, health and legacies senior executive Nikisi Lesufi.

Anglo American calls for cooperative response in trying times 

By: Schalk Burger     25th June 2020 Diversified miner Anglo American CE Mark Cutifani has called for a society-wide response to the global Covid-19 crisis and says the miner is committed to global tax and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). In its Tax and Economic Contribution report for the year ended... 

Anglo American calls for cooperative response in trying times
Anglo American CEO Mark Cutifani

Alrosa idles mine as several workers test positive for Covid

By: Mariaan Webb     25th June 2020 Russian diamond miner Alrosa has suspended work at its Inter underground mine, after several employees tested positive for Covid-19. Operations would be idled for one to two weeks, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The employees who tested positive for Covid-19 are treated at the... 

Alrosa idles mine as several workers test positive for Covid
A view of the Internatsionalny underground mine.

Field teams resume activities at Pangolin's Botswana exploration projects

By: Simone Liedtke     24th June 2020 TSX-V-listed Pangolin Diamonds on June 23 provided an update on recent activities at its various projects in Botswana, with all field teams now fully operational. It added that the Botswana Department of Mines had granted the company's joint venture partner, Makunwu Civl Blasting, to proceed with... 

BlueRock increases Kareevlei yearly run rate to 400 000 t 

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd June 2020 Aim-listed diamond producer BlueRock Diamonds achieved its target to reach a yearly run rate of 400 000 t and operational profitability through enhanced production at the end of 2019. In a statement on June 22, the producer, which owns and operates the Kareevlei diamond mine in South Africa,... 

The masters of the diamond world are losing control  

By: Bloomberg     22nd June 2020 For decades, shopping for uncut diamonds was a tightly scripted affair: First, persuade De Beers to add you to its list of handpicked customers. Then, 10 times a year, attend a week-long sale to buy exactly the amount De Beers offers you at whatever price it chooses. The system, which works more... 

The masters of the diamond world are losing control

Canadian diamond miner issues new 2020 guidance

By: Mariaan Webb     19th June 2020 Canadian diamond miner Mountain Province Diamonds has provided a new guidance for 2020, as CEO Stuart Brown says that demand for rough diamonds are starting to show signs of interest. The Toronto-headquartered company lowered the production forecast for Gahcho Kue, in Kennady Lake on the... 

Canadian diamond miner issues new 2020 guidance

Gem earns healthy proceeds from first-half tenders

By: Marleny Arnoldi     18th June 2020 London-listed Gem Diamonds, which operates the Letšeng mine, in Lesotho, sold 15 diamonds for more than $1-million each in the first half of this year. This includes one diamond that was sold for more than $5-million.  

Gem earns healthy proceeds from first-half tenders
Gen diamonds' Letšeng mine, in Lesotho

Alexkor, Tshipi Borwa and Acacia Mining make headlines  

18th June 2020 Mining Weekly Editor Martin Creamer unpacks Alexkor's need for a panel of experts, the Tshipi Borwa manganese mine remaining profitable and the three Acacia Mining employees who were released from a Tanzanian jail.   

Alexkor, Tshipi Borwa and Acacia Mining make headlines
Alexkor, Tshipi Borwa and Acacia Mining make headlines

Panel of experts needed to oversee future of struggling Alexkor 

By: Martin Creamer     17th June 2020 A panel of experts should be formed to properly oversee the future of the struggling State-owned diamond mining company Alexkor, and to unlock the greater long-term potential of northern Namaqualand. That is the view of Sable Metals & Minerals CEO James Allan, following the briefing of the... 

Panel of experts needed to oversee future of struggling Alexkor
Photo by Creamer Media
Sable Metals & Minerals CEO James Allan

Rio Tinto won't bid for remaining stake in Canadian diamond mine

By: Reuters     16th June 2020 Global miner Rio Tinto has no plans to take full control of its Canadian Arctic diamond mine, which faces closure and will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up, court documents show. Rio, which owns 60% of the Diavik mine in Canada's Northwest Territories, said in a May 28 court... 

Rio Tinto won't bid for remaining stake in Canadian diamond mine
The Diavik mine, in the Northwest Territories

Lucara’s trailblazing MD aims for further progress

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th June 2020 With her promotion to MD of diamond mining company Lucara Botswana in 2018, Naseem Lahri became the first woman, and the first Motswana woman, to serve in this capacity for a diamond mining company in Botswana. Lucara Botswana is a subsidiary of Lucara Diamond Corp, which owns the Karowe mine, in... 

Lucara’s trailblazing MD aims for further progress
Naseem Lahri

More border openings wanted for returning workers – Minerals Council 

By: Martin Creamer     15th June 2020 More border openings are wanted for returning foreign mineworkers. As of Thursday last week, not a single foreign mineworker had re-entered South Africa from neighbouring foreign countries. “Only a limited number of border posts are open,” Minerals Council South Africa environment, health and... 

More border openings wanted for returning workers – Minerals Council
Minerals Council South Africa Covid-19 Update covered by Mining Weekly Online’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer

Platinum retailers working towards recovery amid Covid-19 

By: Simone Liedtke     12th June 2020 Manufacturers and retailers of platinum jewellery have begun working towards ensuring the recovery of the sector, as Covid-19 continues to heavily impact on the global economy, the Platinum Guild International’s (PGI’s) latest 'Platinum Jewellery Business Review (PJBR)' states. Published on June... 

Platinum retailers working towards recovery amid Covid-19

240 000 miners back at work – Minerals Council South Africa 

By: Martin Creamer     11th June 2020 An estimated 240 000 miners are back at work on 385 large and small mines across South Africa, Minerals Council South Africa public affairs and transformation senior executive Tebello Chabana said on Thursday. Each and every one of these miners was screened on their return to work after lockdown... 

240 000 miners back at work – Minerals Council South Africa
Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer reports on Covid update by Minerals Council South Africa. Video: Darlene Creamer 11.06.2020

ICMM members record 287 fatalities in 2019

By: Martin Creamer     11th June 2020 The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) on Thursday released the 2019 safety data of its company members, who reported 287 occupational fatalities, a marked increase from the 50 fatalities recorded in 2018 and 51 fatalities recorded in 2017. ICMM said in a media release to Mining... 

ICMM members record 287 fatalities in 2019
ICMM CEO Tom Butler

Global mining forum IGF puts forward sweeping employment reforms 

By: Martin Creamer     10th June 2020 The Intergovernmental Forum on Mining Minerals Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF) on Wednesday put forward sweeping mining employment reforms in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, which has, it states, exposed weak points in the global labour market. IGF emerged from the 2002 World Summit... 

Global mining forum IGF puts forward sweeping employment reforms
Photo by Bloomberg
Sweeping mining reforms advocated in response to Covid-19.

EHR enters into diamond exploration alliance agreement in Botswana

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2020 ASX-listed EHR Resources has entered into an exploration alliance agreement with Diamond Exploration Strategies (DES), a privately owned company focused on diamond exploration in Botswana. Under the terms of the agreement, EHR will provide funding of $1.5-million over three years to finance... 

Cibjo postpones yearly congress, will be rescheduled in 2021

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     9th June 2020 World Jewellery Confederation's (Cibjo's) yearly congress, which had been for October 5 to 7, in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, has been postponed to 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic. The decision to postpone the congress was taken during a video conference of the Cibjo board... 

Angola on a drive to improve diamond market infrastructure

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th June 2020 Angola’s Mineral Resources and Petroleum Minister Dr Diamantino Pedro Azevedo has announced the country’s plans to develop industry-specific market infrastructure for improved diamond trade activity. The country plans on establishing an Angolan Diamond Hub and an Angolan Diamond Bourse.  

Angola on a drive to improve diamond market infrastructure

Edward Asscher named World Diamond Council president

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th June 2020 Edward Asscher has been named president of the World Diamond Council (WDC), the international organisation that is charged with leading the industry’s effort to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the jewellery supply chain and with representing it in the tripartite Kimberley Process... 

Mountain Province proposes $50m sales agreement with Desmond's Dunebridge

By: Mariaan Webb     8th June 2020 With traditional markets for rough diamond sales remaining closed, Canadian diamond miner Mountain Province on Monday unveiled a proposed $50-million transaction that will provide it with short-term liquidity. The 49% participant in the Gahcho Kue mine, in Northwest Territories, is proposing an... 

Mountain Province proposes $50m sales agreement with Desmond's Dunebridge
The Gahcho Kue mine, in Canada.

BlueRock concludes diamond sale

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     8th June 2020 Aim-listed BlueRock Diamonds, which operates the Kareevlei diamond mine, near Kimberley, in South Africa, has announced the private sale of 2 400 ct at an average price of $290 /ct for a total of $700 000. "This sale at a time when the traditional sales channels for diamonds remain closed and at... 

The great diamond glut: Miners stuck with gems worth billions

By: Bloomberg     7th June 2020 In one of the world’s biggest diamond vaults, hidden inside a nondescript office compound on the dusty outskirts of Botswana’s capital, the precious stones just keep piling up. Owner De Beers, which mines and auctions most of its gems in the southern African nation, has barely sold any rough... 

Alrosa sees coronavirus impact lingering after Q1 profit slide

By: Reuters     5th June 2020 Russian diamond producer Alrosa reported an 87% slide in first-quarter net profit on Friday and said its future results were likely to suffer from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on sales. Net profit fell to 3.1-billion roubles in the first three months of the year, it said, hurt by the... 

Diamond market outlook at even odds

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 The diamond industry has been dealing with an oversupplied market since upstream production hit a multi-year high in 2017 and as the mid-stream segment delivered inventory in 2018 and 2019. 

Diamond market  outlook at even odds
PAUL ZIMNISKY Marketing, branding and building consumer demand in new markets is the real answer to increasing demand for diamond jewellery

Diamonds are forever in times of crisis

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 Some mined commodities, particularly precious metals, such as gold, have increased in value, owing to the perception that they can be safe-haven assets during times of crisis. 

Diamonds are forever in times of crisis
ERNEST BLOM The reopening of markets, such as those of China and the US, are a much-needed light at the end of the tunne

Diamonds’ upward trend to resume post pandemic

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 Although diamond prices were gradually recovering from their low during the 2008/09 financial crisis, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdowns in many countries have caused trading to come to a halt. 

Diamonds’ upward trend to resume post pandemic
JAMES CAMPBELL Although diamond prices typically drop the fastest – which they have – they are also among the quickest to recover

Sector ahead of the sustainability curve, challenges remain

By: Mamaili Mamaila     5th June 2020 With many local diamond mining operations reaching their end of life, the rehabilitation and remediation of such sites – in a closure and liquidation context – has been a particular focus in recent years, says law firm Bowmans partner Wandisile Mandlana. 

Sector ahead of the sustainability curve, challenges remain
LEADING THE PACK The sector is a few years ahead of other mining subsectors locally in terms of closure
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